Thing to do in Pennsylvania Dutch Country
The good old Amish horse and buggy.is what most people think of if you mention “Pennsylvania Dutch”… But Pennsylvania Dutch and Lancaster County mean a lot more than that.
Lancaster County is home to Susquehannock State Park, located on 224 acres overlooking the Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna River Valley is one of the most beautiful sections of the United States for scenic beauty, history, and recreational destinations. Take a quick virtual visit via the Visit PA “Top 20 River Spots” if you don’t believe it…Get specific info on the trail itself here.
Lancaster County’s unique heritage and rich history is tucked into a variety of interactive attractions, from hands-on Amish homesteads and museums to restaurants, walking tours, theatres, and more. You’ll also find history lining the streets or our towns and villages, and spanning the countryside in the form of covered bridges.
Learn a little about the culture of PA Dutch Country – and have fun while you’re at it!
Amish in Lancaster County
Lancaster County is home to America’s oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old “Plain” lifestyle. It’s a place where visitors can step back in time to enjoy a slower, more peaceful pace – where the horse & buggy remains a primary form of transportation, and where windmills dot the landscape, providing a nature-harnessed power source. A vital part of Lancaster County, the Amish are involved in agriculture and an array of cottage industries. Many Amish-themed attractions, events, foods, and crafts are available for your education and enjoyment.
Visit a re-creation of an Amish homestead or village: Tour a house, farm, or village set up to look like a typical Amish homestead or community. You’ll learn how the Amish live and how they manage without electricity and other modern conveniences.
Buggy Rides: Discover the countryside the way the Amish do, with a ride on an authentic Amish buggy. A peaceful ride in a horse-pulled buggy offers a unique insight into the Amish way of life and gives a new appreciation for the idyllic countryside.
Quilt Shops: Be sure to include a stop at an Amish-owned and operated quilt shop where you’ll see a beautiful display of Amish-made quilts, wall hangings, pillows, “quillows” and other handmade items.
Lancaster County – Covered Bridge Driving Tour
The county promotes tourist visits to the county’s numerous historic and picturesque covered bridges by publishing driving tours of the bridges. With over 200 bridges still in existence, Pennsylvania has more covered bridges than anywhere else in the world, and at 29 covered bridges, Lancaster County has the largest share. Just the sight of our covered bridges brings to mind thoughts of old charm and romance, and in Lancaster County, the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, we have plenty of both! Sometimes referred to as “kissing bridges” because of the many couples who have strolled across them over the years, our area offers more than two dozen of these architectural beauties – each with its own inviting story. Self-guided driving tour maps are available online. Stop in towns along the way for a bite to eat or to stroll the charming streets and shops.
Offering a delightful assortment of more than 250 boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and entertainment and performing arts venues Downtown Lancaster has a little bit of something for everyone!
Lancaster Science Factory
A hands-on, interactive technology and science center housed in an old factory building at Urban Place, the Lancaster Science Factory offers dozens of exciting exhibits relating to the physical sciences, engineering, technology, and mathematics. The Science Factory is fast becoming Lancaster’s latest hit with kids and adults alike.
North Museum of Natural History and Science
The North Museum of Natural History & Science features extensive collections and hands-on, minds-on exhibits that engage the imagination in a welcoming environment. From outer space to local Native American peoples; from rocks and minerals to dinosaurs; from the Live Animal Room to the Discovery Room, explore the world of natural history and science with a visit to the North Museum.
Museums and Historic Homes
Here you will find numerous state and local museums and historic sites dating back to the 1700s. From the oldest Mennonite meetinghouse in America to the home of a former U.S. president, you’ll find much to explore. Lancaster City, Columbia, Strasburg, Mount Joy, and Ephrata, just to name a few, offer the historian in all of us many sites to appease our appetite for knowledge of the past.
Lancaster County museums offer insight into every aspect of the culture in PA Dutch Country, from local art and the Amish community to natural science, trains, and Lancaster history. Visit an underground railroad center, a PA German living history village, or the home of the 15th president of the United States. Check out museums comprised entirely of quilts, teddy bears and Christmas memorabilia – the possibilities are endless!
Held in various villages throughout the Amish countryside in Lancaster County each spring, these Saturday sales are huge auctions to benefit the volunteer fire companies. Mud sales, named for the condition of the thawing ground, bring thousands of Amish and English looking to bid on everything from quilts and crafts to furniture, antiques, Amish buggies, baked goods, and more.
Antiques Capital of the USA
Shop for something from the past is perhaps the best place in the United States for antiquing. In Lancaster County, you’ll find dozens of markets, shops, showcase malls, and centers with more than a thousand antique dealers selling one-of-a-kind crafts, hand-built fine furniture, and folk art. The rich history of small towns provides lots and lots of treasures from the past.
The dealing begins in Lancaster County before the sun even begins to shine, at antique malls such as those in Adamstown, where you’ll find unique treasures of the past from more than 3,000 dealers. If you’re a true bargain-hunter, grab your coffee for an extra-early morning, and scout out your favorites before throwing your bid into the ring at antique auctions.
Just up the road a bit from the town of Lancaster is Adamstown, PA, also known as “Antiques Capital USA.” Welcome to Adamstown. Nestled in the heart of scenic Pennsylvania Dutch Country, little Adamstown is making a big name for itself in the world of antiques. Dealers and collectors, as well as the uninitiated from all over the world, have succumbed to the charms of Adamstown, which has become the premier year-round antique destination in the Northeast. The easy access to the area from Exit 286 off of the Pennsylvania Turnpike provides the traveler with a worry-free trip.
Thousands of vendors representing every era, and products ranging from furniture to pottery to antique tools and hardware await you in Adamstown. Make a day of it for antique shopping alone. There is too much chance you might miss exactly what you’ve been searching for – whether you knew you needed it or not!
More Attractions in Lancaster County
You’ll never run short of things to do in Lancaster County with all sorts of attractions perfect for the young – and the young at heart! Enjoy amusement parks, buggy rides, interactive farm fun, train attractions, pretzel factories, local sports and so much more. Lancaster County is made up of different townships and boroughs – each with its own history, events, and atmosphere. Take a visit to Amish Country News for the full scoop on each town and what it has to offer.
Still, think there isn’t enough to do in Lancaster? Here are some great ideas…from a visit to a working farm to the National Toy Train Museum…
- Amish Country Tours
- Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
- Ghost tour of downtown Lancaster
- Hershey’s Chocolate World
- America’s First Pretzel Bakery
- Verdant View (working) Farm
- Amish Buggy Rides
- National Toy Train Museum
So many interesting locations in the world to choose from for your next vacation. Why not give Lancaster, Pennsylvania a look? There is much to see and do that will make your next country vacation your best ever.